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MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is investigating the supposed beating by soldiers of a terrorist in Marawi, an incident caught on video.
AFP spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla also emphasized in a Malacañang press briefing on Friday, October 27, that the military does not tolerate abuse of prisoners of war.
“That is not right and we will get to the bottom of it. So an investigation has been launched,” said Padilla.
The video, made public by GMA News, shows what appears to be a captive of soldiers in Marawi kneeling muddied and bloodied on the ground as he is taunted by uniformed soldiers.
As he is led away, some soldiers can be seen kicking and hitting him.
Padilla said the military is still verifying the details of the video – where it was taken, when, and who the persons involved were.
“The Armed Forces is very strict regarding the treatment of captives in a conflict situation. And they are supposed to be decently treated and respected, and which did not happen in this case,” said Padilla. (READ: Mattis says PH troops upheld human rights in Marawi)
Still, he asked for understanding from the public if the video is ascertained to be of soldiers hurting a Marawi terrorist.
“Our request is, we need to understand that in this instance, emotions are running high,” he said.
If the video was taken right after an encounter with terrorists or after the recovery of the cadavers of soldiers who were burned or beheaded, other soldiers may feel an urge to vent their anger on captives.
“Because our fellow soldier was robbed of their right, emotions are high and there is a desire to seek vengeance,” said Padilla.
He also raised the possibility that the video could have been spread by terrorists themselves to fuel hate for Filipino soldiers.
The military spokesman asked the public to delete the video if they have it in their possession.
“If you are holding these kinds of videos, let’s delete them and not spread them. The bigger implication of this is that it can be used as propaganda by the enemy,” said Padilla. – Rappler.com